Gehna Banga is a law student at the ICFAI Law School in Hyderabad. She has recently written and successfully launched her debut book “Run your Fingers through My Soul”. Here is our fiction editor Himanshu Goel in conversation with Gehna Banga.
Q. So before we talk about your debut novel, tell the readers a little about yourself.
I’m Gehna Banga, a final year law student of ICFAI Law School, Hyderabad. I’m pursuing B.B.A – LL.B (Hons). I’m a sucker for fresh air with a serious case of wanderlust. I love painting, dancing and high fashion. I am infamous for being too ambitious and assertive. (I’m laughing about the part where I say I am infamous for being too ambitious). Well, the most important trait that I know about myself today and want others to be aware of is that I love surrounding myself with people who are aspiring and I personally want to be a force or inspiration behind someone’s happiness, success and growth. Inspiring others to achieve their goals exactly how they want it is my new off field job.
Q. So being involved in so many things, a lawyer, a writer and a fashionista, how do you manage to juggle all this together and make it work?
Hahaha, well, I must add to that list the word ‘entrepreneur’. I started my entrepreneurial journey exactly on 1st January, 2015. As of now, I’m not working on any start up as I’m on a break but yeah, I’ve juggled that too together with being a law student and a fashionista at the same time.
With respect to your question about how do I manage to make it work, it’s just very simple. I don’t actually ever have to manage any of this. It comes very naturally. My mind is pretty much inclined towards writing, experimenting with fashion, creating new and unique business solutions and the most prized of all learning and practicing law. All of these are somewhere down the line my inherent interests, my inner desires. Any of the things I do for example write something down or doll up is my way of relaxing my body and mind. So there has never been a question of managing any of these together. It’s never really occurred to me that I am juggling between things. It feels very normal and natural. I’m so eccentric about my inner desires and how my mind and body functions that I might in the middle of nowhere decide that I want to probably do some stretching exercises so that I can relax my body muscles.
Q. That is truly fascinating. I was reading the novel and noticed that you’re also on the cover of your own novel, which is amazing by the way. How did you come up with the cover idea?
Being on the cover of my own book was a very well thought out decision, doing so it has a very strong relation to the content of the book.
I just knew I had to give the cover that look. As a writer I am very attached to every word and thought that I’ve penned down in my book and the only image that I was constantly seeing in my head for my book cover was what it is.
A lot of people had told me I would need a professional photographer to give my book a great cover.
The book cover is a creativity of my mother and me. We decided on each aspect of the colors, makeup, hair, body position etc together. In fact my mother is the photographer for this cover. I am glad it has turned out exactly the way I wanted it to be.
Q. Let’s talk about the book now, Run your fingers through my Soul. Tell us about your masterpiece.
Run your fingers through my soul is my autobiography to be precise and not a novel. It is a memoir of a 23 year old whose recent terrible breakup and previous relationships with her friends, boyfriends, classmates and family helps her realize that she genuinely wants to be in love, something she took too casually before, but finds really hard to attain.
In this process she meets someone who changes her life completely and helps her repose her trust back in being able to love again and be loved again.
None of this comes easy, she learns the Law of the Universe, power of her thoughts, energies and vibes.
Most importantly she realizes as a repercussion of all her terrible body shaming experiences especially by the man she loved so much and people she thought were her friends that none of us ever owe an explanation to anybody for why we look like whatever we look like and finally begins to love herself exactly for who she is.
It is my attempt to expose everyone irrespective of what age one belongs to that your thoughts have power, mental health is important, body shaming needs to stop, women need to stand up for their thoughts and society needs to change the mentality of certain men in order to avoid women being discriminated against or raped or sexually harassed and that the success and achievement of all your goals in life is a manifestation of your mindset, thoughts, energies and vibes and not your efforts, background or physical appearance. We control our lives and what happens to us.
Q. Lovely, I hope you are successful in your noble cause. We’ll surely be digging ourselves in the novel. So tell us about the journey of writing, how much time it took you? Did you come up with any difficulties while writing that young writers like yourself might experience?
I started somewhere around 1st week of October, 2015. It took almost four and half months to write this book down. I did not encounter any difficulties as such. The thoughts were just flowing like water. I began typing it out on a word doc on my phone. We all carry our phones everywhere now-a-days, it’s a necessity and not a luxury anymore. Since I was typing it out on my phone, every time a thought cropped up, be it in the middle of a class or while having lunch or sitting in a car, I’d just type it out. The only thing difficult about writing this book in my situation was to be able to fight depression, not go in a negative zone again and write the mentally disturbing parts of the storyline simultaneously. It’s my own story and therefore the intensity of any situation described in the book was affecting my own mind and imagination more than it would otherwise.
One issue that I think a young writer might experience is the anxiety that if his/her thoughts would be accepted well. I think that should totally be avoided and not paid heed to at all. They are your thoughts and your only job is to let them out. Never worry about how your art or creativity will be taken by others. Just put it out there for yourself and your loved ones.
Q. Indeed. Thank you for the advice. The book has peaked 7# on the Amazon bestsellers list. We hope it keeps on reaching higher milestones. Do you plan to write more? What does the future hold in store for Gehna Banga?
Well, it had reached Rank 7. The rank basically fluctuated between 7 to 47 for the first two weeks since its release.
I definitely do plan to write more. The book has another 8 sub titles to it in the making and a reader will not be able to figure out what could the next series possibly contain unless I release another 2-3 books in the same series.
As far as what does the future hold in store for me, I’d simply ask you to lay your hands on my book. A detailed information of what my life is going to be like in future (when I say future, I mean till I die and also post my death) can be easily gathered from my book. In the near future, be prepared to see a kickass corporate and funds lawyer rise her way up in the legal industry!
You can find her book on Amazon. It is also available for free for those subscribed to the Kindle Unlimited Service. If you are an author and want to be featured on The Machinery you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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